The Trade Development Authority of Pakistan CEO Zubair Motiwala has stressed the need for more value-addition and exploring new markets in textile exports, besides focusing the Research and Development (R&D) to enhance the productivity and quality of the products.
Addressing a reception hosted in his honor by the PRGMEA former chairman Ijaz A Khokhar, the TDAP Chief said that there is a need to search non-traditional markets, as there are multiple opportunities in the growing economies of African countries since China and India have already focused on these regions.
The meeting was attended and addressed by TDAP Secretary Dr. Fareed Iqbal while Customs Collector Saima Aftab was also present along with all stakeholders of the SMEs hub of Sialkot, who are doing the highest value-addition in their business, including SCCI, PRGMEA, PHMA, Surgical, Sports goods, Glove and Leather Garments Associations. The heads of Sialkot Dry Port, Tannery Zone and Air Sial were among the major participants of the high-level meeting.
The TDAP CEO agreed with the views of the stakeholders and ensured of resolving their issues, terming them one of the most crucial matters faced by the exporters of this great SME hub of the country.
Zubair Motiwala observed that the value-added textile exporters are front-row soldiers of the economy and despite multiple challenges, they are earning billions of dollars in foreign exchange for the country. He appreciated the efforts of the Sialkot-based industry and said that they have made the highest value addition through R&D to improve the productivity and quality of the products.
Zubair Motiwala said that the economy is facing a very tough time and the cost of doing business is increasing day by day. At the TDAP, we are ready to facilitate trade and industry to increase the country’s exports, he added. He said that with an improved supply chain, the industry can reduce its cost of business.
On the occasion, IAF Chief and PRGMEA ex-chairman Ijaz A Khokhar highlighted the issues being faced by the industry, particularly exporters, and asked for long-term economic policies with the consultation of all stakeholders to ensure stability.
Inviting the attention of the Central Bank, he said that currently, the State Bank has allowed the travelers to carry only $5,000, which is not sufficient for two-week travel and needs to be enhanced to at least $10,000 as hoteling and transportation costs have gone up due to soaring inflation.
He asked the FBR to ensure sales tax refunds within two weeks because no Industry can survive on loans of extremely high interest. “Ideally speaking, the government should restart the zero-rated policy to enhance exports, which is presently declining sharply,” he added.
He said that higher interest rates have badly hurt the cash flows of the industry and should be reduced to facilitate the industry, as the exporters especially Sialkot businessmen are facing a severe liquidity crunch.
He said that continuous fluctuation in the exchange rate has made it difficult to quote to foreign buyers and this is the major issue, that makes buyers reluctant to buy because nobody can quote rightly for future orders. “Industry wants the Dollar rate to be fixed for at least 3 months.”
Suggesting measures for enhancement in exports, the PRGMEA former chief called for an aggressive marketing strategy in line with the strategies of our competitors, by appointing an Honorary Consul General in all European countries, which will cost nothing.